Yakushima, where they say it rains “35 days a month,” is a mountainous island with a circumference of about 130 km, and 90% of its area is covered by forest. While you can circle the island in about three hours without stopping, it is home to many natural sites, like beaches, mountains, valleys and forests. Many people visit Yakushima to trek and climb its mountains, like Mt. Miyanoura, the highest peak in the Kyushu region.
Other popular activities include SUPing and kayaking in the crystal-clear mountain rivers, sawanobori (hiking rivers to their source) and diving, and there are many other things to see, like waterfalls and natural parks, as well as hot springs where you can rest and relax. Because the weather conditions can change suddenly, when you stay on Yakushima, it is recommended that you use a certified guide, which is unusual in other parts of Japan. The certified guides living on Yakushima have met detailed requirements, such as having professional qualifications for each field (e.g., mountains, rivers and the ocean) and having guided visitors for at least 200 days over the past three years.